Operation Eagle Claw : A Learning Experience

1561 WordsMar 29, 20167 Pages
Operation Eagle Claw – A Learning Experience In order to gain a thorough understanding of Operation Eagle Claw, it is imperative to account for the historical context which governed the military at the time. Induced by public opinion and the economic state of the United States proceeding the Vietnam War, dramatic reductions in appropriations and personnel plagued the Department of Defense. Consequently, in the midst of the Iranian Hostage Crisis, the United States military was labeled as a “hollow force;” the cuts made to federal defense spending compromised the capabilities of most components of the military including the Special Operation Force, which proved to be critical to the rescue mission. Considering the unsatisfactory state of readiness, the disastrous conclusion of Operation Eagle Claw was inevitable. However, despite its tactical shortcomings, the operation has left a reclusive legacy as a constructive failure that catalyzed improvements to future implementations of Joint Task Forces in special operations. Planning and Execution Unfortunately, a suitable team was not readily available to the disposal of the Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff due to the condition of the Department of Defense at the time. Furthermore, President Carter and his cabinet insisted on maintaining operational security, significantly complicating the process of procuring a proper Joint Task Force planning staff. Eventually, an improvised staff was commissioned to develop a plan for the

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